I want to begin by saying that getting even this amount of my toiletries plastic-free has taken me a while; it’s taken a lot of research and time to find ethical products that give me the same product satisfaction as disposable, plastic-wrapped products. However, now I’ve found a routine that works for me, I’m keen to share.
The first two products I swapped from my daily routine were my shampoo and conditioner. LUSH is a UK based, non-animal testing, vegetarian, and package-free cosmetic store; their products are handmade, colourful, and usually smell absolutely amazing. I’ve gone through using several of their hair products since I started using them last year; at the moment, I use the ‘Jason and the Argon oil’ shampoo bar, which smells like jasmine and has argon oil infused (my hair can get pretty dry!). I’ve also used the ‘Honey I washed my hair’ shampoo bar – which, in my opinion, smells heavenly.
Conditioner, however, I have struggled more with. Solid shampoo tends to weigh down my hair more. As it’s fine and dry, it needs the moisture without the weight. However, after trying out several shampoo and conditioner combinations, I can say that the ‘Sugar Daddy-o’ conditioner with the ‘Jason and the Argon oil’ shampoo works brilliantly for me.
The only criticism I have for zero-waste hair products are that they tend to cater for hair like mine – caucasian, fine and more or less straight. However, I’m not sure there are many options out there for those with textured or afro hair wishing to go zero waste. Let me know if there are any options you know of!
To wash my body, I simply use Pears soap! Simple, effective, and no-fuss.
On my face, I use another LUSH product – Movis face soap. It’s made out of cocoa butter, organic wheatgerm, coconut oil and hop oil. Honestly, I love this product! It leaves my face clean, cleansed and not too dry (something at I always found with conventional face soap). Best of all, 100g cost my around £4; I’ve been using this for around 4 months, and I have only used 1/4 of what I bought. As a 100g block is quite big, I cut off a smaller chunk so that I can lather it properly. This works out so much cheaper than the conventional face wash – I expect this 100g will last me at least 6 months.
One of my most recent swaps is from cotton make up remover pads to an Ecotools muslin face cloth. I’ve recently had great irritation under my eyes from my make-up remover (turns out, I’m allergic to something they put in the Garnier mattifying micellar water), and the cotton pads I used irritated it even more. As soon as I changed to these cloths, any irritation I had had went away. They are quite large cloths, and are machine washable – so when you’ve used all of the cloth (for me this is around every 3 days) you just put it in the wash with your usual laundry load. I got mine from the large Boots on Princes Street in Edinburgh – however, smaller Boots stores may not stock them. There is two in a pack, and a pack costs £5 each.
I’ve saved my favourite swap until last. Getting a safety razor was honestly LIFE CHANGING. I got absolutely none of the irritation I usually get with disposable razors, it was the smoothest shave of my LIFE, and my legs are still smooth a week later.
Still not convinced? This razor from Edwin Jagger cost me £20.40 in the sale, and came with 20 replacement blades. You should change the blade as often as you would change your disposable razor. Replacement blades are only 10p! Think about how much money you can save! This swap is so worth it. Money saving! No plastic! Less irritation! You literally have nothing to lose.